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Campfire Discussion
people around campfire

As part of our Outdoor Idaho Twentieth Anniversary show, we invited a group of friends to join us one weekend in August of 2002, to discuss how Idaho has changed in the last twenty years.

The hike into the lake was a relatively short one of about 3 1/2 miles. Luckily, the fishing was excellent, the weather was perfect, and the food was great! We started the discussion around the campfire at dusk and continued well into the evening.

Watch the campfire discussion.


bill studebaker
Bill Studebaker

Bill Studebaker, author, kayaker:

If I could summarize anything, it would be the experience of watching the national properties of the state change from Idahoís "back yard" to Americaís "outback." And being Americaís outback is a phenomenal thing. Thatís the most impressive thing in my lifetime. To feel Iím living in Americaís outback.

Also, Idaho has become a haven for extreme sports, and there are persons coming from all over the country to participate. In the last twenty years, it's really, really grown.

norm nelson
Norm Nelson

Norm Nelson, film maker, backpacker:

There was not a single peregrine falcon here twenty years ago. The bald eagle has returned. Birds of prey generally speaking, are doing really well in Idaho. Their habitat is maintained because of areas like this.

So I think itís possible to maintain and even improve our relationship with the environment in the future, if we have a good solid consideration for it, because we have some real successes to look at in twenty years.

Robin Jenkinson, graduate student, College of Natural Resources, U of I:

Robin Jenkinson
Robin Jenkinson

The year before last, we went to Boville for St. Patrickís Day, the only Irish bar on the Palouse. And it sounds like a start of a bad joke, but we walked in there, and we were just embraced by the people there. Most of them were loggers. The country band was all loggers.

They said, a couple years ago, we would have kicked your asses out the door, but now we really understand where youíre coming from and we really agree, there needs to be wood in the streams and selective logging is the way to go. So I imagine thatís a change that has occurred in the last twenty years, and Iím really excited what that bodes for the future.

kimberly brandel
Kimberly Brandel

Kimberly Brandel, District Ranger, New Meadows, USFS

In the past ten years recreational use here on the Payette has tripled. And I think, youíve been a show for twenty years, and weíve been talking about the changes, well, think about whatís going to be happening in the next twenty years.

Weíre just going to get more people, more and diverse uses. And as a manager I canít provide everybody use on the same acres... and itís real easy to ruin someone elseís experience and what they hold dear to them.

Jay Rais
Jay Rais


Jay Rais, fly fisherman, outdoorsman:

Iíd like to think that Outdoor Idaho, in a pretty effective way, counteracts all the millions and millions of dollars that are spent by the big corporations promoting motorized use, and that shows like this really show how you can enjoy the back country without the big flashy ads and all the glamour thatís attached to it.

Tom Kovalicky
Tom Kovalicky

Tom Kovalicky, former Forest Supervisor:

Thereís no doubt about it that the last twenty years has been the waking-up period in Idaho. This has been the experimental era that has given Idaho a focus on its past and where it can possibly go in the future.

I predict the salmon will become the rallying point for hanging on to a cultural value that very few people, very few states can enjoy like Idaho. And that will be our hearthstone. That will be the bellwether for the future. And I predict Idaho will save that wild salmon run for many, many more generations.

Ann Joslin
Ann Joslin

Ann Joslin, llama packer:

I do sense that more and more people are appreciating what Idaho has to offer in terms of outdoors, even if they donít get out to the extent we do. And a big part of that is the people who are younger than we are learning those values.

And if that happens, I think that twenty years from now, it will be a great experience to come back to this very same place.

Kay Johnson
Kay Johnson

Kay Johnson, businessman, outdoorsman:

Iím optimistic about the future. I do think in the next twenty years, weíre going to need to work better together. I think if we donít, weíre going to find more restrictions.

I think we just need to recognize that all groups have a right to the wilderness and we need to work with them to preserve it.



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